Erik ten Hag risks repeating Man Utd history by ignoring ‘idiotic behaviour’ warning

Just as Manchester United have managed to rid themselves of some rotten eggs, the Red Devils are running the risk of adding another potential problem player to their ranks.

Following a catastrophic campaign, United have promptly pressed the reset button. While Erik ten Hag has arrived from Ajax, a number of the club’s underperforming old guard have been offloaded. The aim being to see them replaced by fresh blood in the current transfer window.

The Red Devils’ have thus far made a stumbling start to their summer shake-up, namely encountering difficulties in their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, but there’s been a sense of renewed hope over the past few days that new arrivals are forthcoming. And one such name who appears increasingly likely to join Ten Hag’s revolution is one of his former favourites at Ajax: Antony.

The Amsterdam-based winger reportedly has his heart set on a move to Manchester this summer amid suggestions United are closing on a £40million swoop. However, while there can be no denying the 22-year-old is blessed with ample ability and more than a sprinkling of samba flare, the wide-man also comes with a catch: an inflammable attitude.

For all the excitement over Antony’s lethal left-foot, flamboyant flicks and youthful exuberance, the talented Brazilian possesses an untameable temperament. As shown during a 3-2 Eredivisie triumph for Ajax over Feyenoord back in March.

On that occasion, Anthony hogged the headlines for conflicting reasons. Having struck a stunning late winner, the Sao Paulo-born star was promptly booked for removing his shirt in passionate scenes.

Join the debate! Do you think Antony would be worth the risk for Manchester United? Have your say in the comments section.

Anthony was slammed for his attitude problems following a bizarre sending off back in March
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Moments later, the Ajax winger then received his marching orders for a petulant piece of time-wasting – an astonishing act which subsequently saw him thrown to the ground by his captain Dusan Tadic. The unsavoury episode led to Anthony being lambasted by a number of former Netherlands internationals.

Rene van der Gijp said: “Suppose we are in the stands together as a scout for Manchester City or Liverpool and we are looking at Antony. What do you think we would say when we come back on Monday?

“We will not take that. You don’t see a Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane or Mohamed Salah doing this? Then you can say: he is young, but it can also get crazier.”

Ex-Ajax ace Wim Kieft also slammed the Brazilian starlet, adding: “He is not that young anymore, because he has been doing this for two years. Such a boy cannot be calmed by a coach, in the end.

“[Erik] ten Hag will of course never say that Antony behaves like an idiot, but he thinks so. In general, this behaviour is addressed in the locker room, then someone says, ‘Hey, what are you doing?'”

While Ten Hag himself acknowledged Antony still has much to “learn”, he ultimately defended the winger for his antics, insisting that he craves players with a seemingly tempestuous temperament. Ten Hag noted: “Unnecessarily, he still has to learn that.

Ten Hag is running the risk of adding an explosive ego to his United dressing room despite the club looking to steer away from unsettling influences
ANP Sport via Getty Images)

“But I am also happy to have players with temperament. You also need them. He is still young, but don’t forget that he has also got an incredible kick.”

Antony’s antics should provide United with plenty of cause for concern, however. Having finally offloaded the unsettling influence of Paul Pogba in their quest to patch up a severely fractured dressing room, United could find themselves running the risk of replacing the pair with another provocative player and repeating history by reinstating an unhealthy ethos. The last thing United need is to kickstart their new era by adding an explosive ego to their roster.

Given the fragility of United’s current squad, throwing Antony into the mix is a bold move by Ten Hag and only time will tell whether or not his faith has been misplaced. For United’s sake, here’s hoping the Brazilian propels himself into the Premier League limelight as a result of his undoubted ability, not his episodes of idiocy. Ten Hag can’t say he hasn’t been warned.

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